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Who Are the Next Anchor Tenants at DAC? #61DAC

Who Are the Next Anchor Tenants at DAC? #61DAC
by Mike Gianfagna on 07-11-2024 at 10:00 am

DAC Roundup – Who Are the Next Anchor Tenants at DAC?

#61DAC is evolving. The big get bigger and ultimately focus on other venues for customer outreach and branding. This is a normal evolution in any industry. For EDA, it was noticed by many that Cadence and Synopsys have downsized their booths at DAC. Everyone knows CDNLive and SNUG are very successful events for these companies and so this change shouldn’t come as a surprise. There may be other examples of this trend as the industry matures. The interesting part to focus on is who will be the next wave of anchor tenants at DAC? There are clearly some new entrants to DAC that are gaining momentum fast. The how and why of this phenomenon is interesting. I had the opportunity to speak with an executive from one such company at DAC. The conversation was both enlightening and inspirational. Let’s examine who are the next anchor tenants at DAC.

Altair Company Profile

Before getting into the profile of Altair, an observation about the focus of #61DAC is relevant. The conference tagline is now The Chips to Systems Conference. This is not a marketing slogan, it’s a statement about where the electronics industry is going. That is, electronic systems are becoming the critical enabler for a growing class of systems.

So, the question to ask as we look for the next anchor tenants at DAC is this – which companies have a broad enough footprint to enable systems with electronics? Altair is one such company and is one to watch as the next crop of DAC anchor tenants move in. You can learn about the breadth and focus of Altair on SemiWiki here. A short excerpt from the Altair website will explain a lot as well:

Changing Tomorrow, Together

Altair graphicWhen data science meets rocket science, incredible things happen. The innovation our world-changing technology enables may feel like magic to users, but it’s the time-tested result of the rigorous application of science, math, and Altair.

Our comprehensive, open-architecture simulation, artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing (HPC), and data analytics solutions empower organizations to build better, more efficient, more sustainable products and processes that will usher in the breakthroughs of tomorrow’s world. Welcome to the cutting edge of computational intelligence – no magic necessary.

In my opinion, this is the stuff a DAC anchor tenant should be made of.

Altair – the Backstory

Sarmad Khemmoro
Sarmad Khemmoro

I had the good fortune to spend some time with Sarmad Khemmoro at DAC. Many thanks to Dan Nenni for setting it up. Sarmad is currently the senior VP of Product & Strategy – Electronics Design & Simulation at Altair. He clearly sees the opportunity in the global electronics market in general and at DAC in particular. He has a storied career with senior technical and strategy leadership roles at companies such as Mentor, Innoveda and Viewlogic. He knows the technology behind chip design and the ecosystem that uses it.

He’s a natural fit to help Altair take a growing role in the world of electronic systems. He shared some valuable information during our meeting.

He began with a discussion of convergence. ECAD, MCAD, PLM and many other disciplines are now coming together, either through acquisition or partnership to create the required technology stack to realize tomorrow’s world-changing products. For Altair, three focus areas are silicon debug, 3DIC multi-physics – from chip to PCB to systems and job scheduling and license management. A broad footprint that is growing.

Altair has grown and will continue to grow through acquisitions. The company seems to have cracked the code for that process. It turns out many of the CEOs of acquired companies are still with Altair. That speaks volumes about the quality of the workplace and the commitment it has to its employees. We also talked about Altair’s customers – the list includes many household names.  Altair is also very strong in the automotive industry. This will be a strategic advantage as that market continues to consume more semiconductors. Sarmad is located in Detroit, so he’s up close and personal on this front.

We also discussed AI and digital twins. Altair has capabilities in both areas and Sarmad is quite familiar with the company’s strategy. The list of industries supported by Altair is quite extensive as shown in the figure below. This is a company with substantial reach.

Primary Industries Supported
Primary Industries Supported

Sarmad also discussed Altair’s unique and patented licensing model. The company basically re-wrote the rule book regarding tool licensing. The process is driven by something called Altair Units. Purchasing units gives users full access to all Altair software tools whenever they need them, and they can determine when, where, and how they want to use different tools without needing to worry if they’re eligible for access.

This approach removes a lot of the uncertainty and overhead associated with specific tool licensing. Altair has a long list of partners and through the Altair One™ Marketplace partner software can also be accessed with Altair Units, simplifying even more of the process.

Post-DAC Update – the Momentum Continues

Altair is clearly on the move. Its acquisition machine is in high gear with a recent announcement signaling its intention to acquire Metrics Design Automation, further expanding the company’s footprint in EDA. Metrics is a Canadian company that has developed a game-changing simulation as a service (SaaS) business model for semiconductor electronic functional simulation and design verification.

Combining the Metrics simulator with Altair’s silicon debug tools will result in a world-class, advanced simulation environment with superior simulation and debug capabilities. Note that Metrics is led by Joe Costello, who is something of a folk hero in EDA.

Tight relationships in the semiconductor ecosystem are a key attribute of any DAC anchor tenant. There was also a recent announcement that Altair has joined the Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem, known as SAFE™. Altair and Samsung Electronics will combine Altair’s comprehensive EDA technology with Samsung Foundry’s manufacturing capabilities to establish a more innovative, more efficient semiconductor design and production process.

To Learn More

My conversation with Sarmad left an impact. The breadth of Altair’s tools is substantial, and the company has a vision to grow in key markets to further dominate the landscape. You can explore Altair’s capabilities for semiconductor design and EDA here. If you want to take the grand tour of all industries supported, you can do that here.

You can also see the full announcement about the Metrics acquisition here and the full Samsung SAFE announcement here.

So, the next time you wonder who are the next anchor tenants at DAC, think Altair.

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